Those inclined to look at something other than a steadily plunging Dow might consider Dead or Alive: An Investigation of the Incidence of Estate and Inheritance Taxes. In the paper, the authors, Lily Batchelder (NYU) & Surachai Khitatrakun (ERS Group), consider three questions: "(1) the relative burden of wealth transfer taxes on heirs versus donors in a partial equilibrium context, (2) the distributional effects of the estate tax if its burdens are assigned to heirs, and (3) whether the incidence of a wealth transfer tax fundamentally differs depending on whether it is based on the amount transferred (an estate tax) or the amount received (an inheritance tax)."
The paper argues that, "contrary to existing practice, that it is more accurate to allocate wealth transfer tax burdens to heirs as a rough first approximation. It then presents the first estimates of the distribution of federal wealth transfer tax burdens based on this assumption. It finds that the 2009 federal estate tax is highly progressive by various measures of economic income if its burdens are assigned to heirs. It also finds that the estate tax contributes importantly to the progressivity of the tax system overall by partially offsetting the exclusion of inheritances from the income tax base among high-income heirs."